The union makes us strong?

Solidarity has always been a value prized by the New Democrats. But it seems to be a value they don't expect or want other parties to share. Let me explain...Last week, New Democrat MLA Bruce Ralston called on Tory MP Donna Cadman to vote against her own party by opposing a motion that will let British Columbia introduce a harmonized sales tax.

But when she reneged on a promise to do just that, Mr. Ralston criticized Ms. Cadman for instead not showing up for that vote - accusing the MP of breaking a commitment to represent the wishes of her constituents. But that kind of commitment would have never been tolerated by the New Democrats.

For example, when Mr. Ralston's caucus mate Michael Sather broke with the party by voting against the Tsawassen treaty, leader Carole James suspended him. And I don't recall Mr. Ralston ever publicly supporting Mr. Sather for not toeing the party line - which is exactly what he wanted Ms. Cadman to do, violating the principle of solidarity the New Democrats claim to cherish.

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